MORE students than ever before could be heading to Huddersfield University this year.
The number of people applying to study in the town is up 6.8% on the same time last year, according to statistics published by the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS).
And today Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman praised the university’s success.
It comes as academic chiefs reveal that pharmacy courses are proving to be one the biggest draws at the university this year.
Places on the undergraduate Master of Pharmacy degree have been increased from 64 when it started in September 2008 to 72 for 2009.
Pharmacy course leader Margaret Culshaw said: “We are delighted with the strength of applications for our second intake which shows a significant increase over last year.”
The latest figures mean the university can now look forward to meeting its student recruitment target.
Nationally, applications to UK universities and colleges were up 8.8% on this time last year.
Mr Sheerman said: “I’m delighted. Huddersfield University is one of the town’s biggest employers.
“It is a brilliant university and gets better all the time. It is the heart of the life and wealth of the town.
“I go to other towns and they just don’t have the same quality we have because we are a university town. I think we should be boasting about Huddersfield.
“We offer really good courses that lead to employment. You can study traditional degrees like history and philosophy along with practical things like nursing and a huge range of vocational courses.
“I’m immensely proud.”
The data released measured the number of people applying for full-time undergraduate courses and gave a snapshot taken on March 24.
A total of 524,151 people have applied to start courses at UK universities this autumn compared with 481,784 at the same point last year.
These latest figures underline the growth seen earlier in the year. Numbers have risen by 1% since January.
Applicants from overseas students are also on the rise with far eastern countries showing the most significant increases this year.
Applications from Singapore were up by almost 25%, while there were 10% more students from both China and Malaysia.
Mature student applications were also higher.
Those aged 21 to 24 years were up 14.7%, while people aged 25 and over increased by 15.8%.